Let's Get Free
A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice
By Paul Butler
New Press, Hardcover, 9781595583291, 214pp.
Publication Date: May 2009
List Price: $25.95*
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Paul Butler was an ambitious federal prosecutor, a Harvard Law grad who gave up his corporate law salary to fight the good fight--until one day he was arrested on the street and charged with a crime he didn't commit. The "Volokh Conspiracy" calls Butler's account of his trial "the most riveting first chapter I have ever read."
In a book Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree calls "a must read," Butler looks at places where ordinary citizens meet the justice system--as jurors, witnesses, and in encounters with the police--and explores what "doing the right thing" means in a corrupt system.
Since "Let's Get Free"'s publication in spring 2009, Butler has become the go-to person for commentary on criminal justice and race relations: he appeared on ABC News, "Good Morning America," and Fox News, published op-eds in the "New York Times" and other national papers, and is in demand to speak across the country. The paperback edition brings Butler's groundbreaking and highly controversial arguments--jury nullification (voting "not guilty" in drug cases as a form of protest), just saying "no" when the police request your permission to search, and refusing to work inside the system as a snitch or a prosecutor--to a whole new audience.
George Washington University law professor and former prosecutor Paul Butler believes that, in order to fight for justice, Americans must sometimes fight the power of the justice system. He speaks with host Michel Martin about his new book, "Let's Get Free: A Hip Hop Theory of Justice," and his vision for justice policy. More at NPR.org
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